With constant persuasion from my family and advices from friends, I’ve decided to get back into the kitchen to put my cooking knowledge, however limited, into some use. A trip down to the supermarket was a definite. Surprisingly, a visit that seemed like any ordinary grocery shopping turned out to be a real eye-opener as I weaved through the aisles in search for my ingredients. Here are 7 kinds of people everyone would have met, or are even guilty of falling into one or more of these categories (myself included). As a side note, they are not mutually exclusive too (:

1. The Fresh People

Sure, everyone has to make their money’s worth by purchasing the freshest, the best and the most value for money item out there. From fruits to poultry, the finger-pressing phenomenal has been dubbed the most common sight by anybody who goes grocery shopping. How about digging for that one milk carton or packet of chips right at the back of the shelf for the furthest expiration date? Sounds familiar? To make us look even inhumane, we would leave these rejected and battered goods back in their original place, just as damaged emotionally as they are physically.

2. The Samplers

Before embarking on each aisle for my grocery hunt, I was constantly stopped in my tracks to the endless invitations of “ 要 try 吗? “ (translation: Do you want to try this?) and then almost immediately was offered a toothpick with a small portion of food stuck on top of it. Subconsciously but surely, I became one of them. These are the people who could almost get a meal settled just by strolling 1 round of the supermarket. These are also the people who almost never buy any of these food, sometimes even stopping by twice or thrice if the samples are really tasty.

3. The Blockers

You are walking through your favourite candy section, when you get stuck behind an abandoned but full shopping trolley. You are now in a dilemma: Should I move the trolley away to get my chocolate or wait for the owner? But what if he/she sees me moving their trolley? Unfortunate is when you also get stuck behind a full shopping trolley at the check-out counter and you can only stare helplessly as he/she slowly offloads item by item off their cart.

4. The Family

Families in the supermarket can be a love/hate sight, depending on the behaviour of the kids. It is always heartwarming to see children in the baby seat of trolleys pointing to every item that passes by them, or trying their best to persuade their parents to buy their favourite food. Unfortunately, kids will always be kids and when they get out of hand, it takes a herculean effort to yank the trolley handles off their hands without them breaking into bouts of screams.

5. The Forgetful Ones

This shopper will hold up the entire line in the middle of checking out to run and get just one more grocery item because he/she had forgotten, or just because there’s an ongoing promotion/discount for a particular brand of product.

6. The Supermarket Ambassadors

Of course, there are always the ever friendly ‘Uncles’ and ‘Aunties’ whom you can turn to if you cannot seem to find a particular product. The Uncle I encountered today walked through 5 aisles just to assist me in my search for an ingredient. Along the way, he enquired how I was going to use that ingredient and remarked that its uncommon for ‘youngsters’ like me to be cooking from scratch. I explained that it was for an occasion and he replied ‘Wah I wish my grandchildren can cook also’ before breaking into a smile and leaving me to do the rest of my grocery shopping. This short but sincere exchange was a very heartening experience and I challenge all of you to go step further and strike up small conversations with the Uncles and Aunties the next time you’re in the supermarket!

7. Cashiers



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